Well known women’s rights activist arrested in Kabul

Zarifa Yaqubi, a women’s rights activist.

Taliban arrested well known women’s rights activist, Zarifa Yaqubi, in Kabul on Thursday after she organized an event to launch a women’s rights movement in the capital.

According to two of her colleagues, Yaqubi and at least four of her male colleagues were taken into custody by the Taliban during the event in Dasht-e-Barchi.

Roqiya Saee, a colleague of Yaqubi, said she was arrested during the inauguration of the “Afghanistan women’s movement for equality for everyone.”

“The press conference was held in Dasht-e-Barchi area (in the west of Kabul)… The Taliban first tried to stop the event, but when we insisted, they removed journalists who wanted to cover the event and asked us to continue the session,” she said.

Saee added that after the press conference, a group of Taliban, including women, confronted the women and confiscated “all phones.”

“I could hardly get out of there. The Taliban collected all women’s phones and took Zarifa Yaqubi and four of her male colleagues with them,” said Saee.

Saee claimed that she was “slapped by the Taliban.”

Another colleague of Yaqubi, who wished to remain anonymous, confirmed the arrest and said the Taliban used violence to disrupt the event.

The Taliban has not commented, despite repeated attempts by Amu to get their comments.

Yaqubi was a close aide of former Afghan MP Fawzia Kofi who moved to the United States after the fall of Kabul. Her colleagues said Yaqubi has been actively engaged in advocating for women’s rights under the Taliban.